Crunchy Okra Fries
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“There are many ways to eat okra, but this has to be my fave,” Nadiya Hussain says of her crunchy okra fries, from her new cookbook, Nadiya’s Everyday Baking. Crisp, slightly spicy and baked in the oven, they’re bound to be instant hit.
“I love okra! Love it!” she writes. “It was a staple in my childhood home, cooked simply. I like how it can be a little bit slippery but still maintain its crunch. I have been used to eating it in curry form, but oh my goodness, it is fabulous coated in crunchy spiced rice flour and baked till crisp. Everything a snack should be: flavorful, salty and delicious.”
Reprinted with permission from Nadiya's Everyday Baking: From Weeknight Dinners to Celebration Cakes, Let Your Oven Do the Work. Copyright © 2022 by Nadiya Hussain. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Chris Terry. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
9¾ ounces (280g) okra
1¼ cups vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
¾ cup (100g) rice flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon chile flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Mayonnaise and finely chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
1. Cut the okra lengthwise down the middle, starting at the stalk end and going all the way down to the point. Take each half and slice down again—you should have four thin strips. Do this to all of them and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Drizzle the oil on two rimmed baking sheets and put in the oven for the oil to heat up.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are frothy. Add the okra and stir until coated. In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour, curry powder, chile, salt and ground coriander. Sprinkle this dry mix over the okra and toss so that the okra is well coated. It might be easier to sprinkle some in and toss, add some more, toss, and so on, until you have no more spicy flour mix left.
4. Carefully take the baking sheets of hot oil out of the oven and gently add the okra in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out, turn and bake until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with some mayonnaise, sprinkle some cilantro and serve.